Online Order Ordeal - GatheringGround.com botched this order
Dan Alban
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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I had a terrible experience ordering games online from GatheringGround.com. You can read more about it in my posting at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/86170, but the short version is that it took a month for the order to arrive (despite 1-5 day shipping) and there were many errors with the order, as well as terrible customer service by a manager named Jason who refused to correct the problems.

This is my semi-creative way of warning others not to shop at GatheringGround.com - a geek list of games that I ordered from them that they somehow failed to deliver or delivered even though I had cancelled the items well before the order shipped. I've tried to explain my interest in or background with the games to make it a little more interesting.

If you have also had a serious problem ordering a game online, feel free to add the game and your tale of woe.

This is my first geeklist, and I'm fairly new to the Geek, so I'm sorry if I messed up something.
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1. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1038]
Dan Alban
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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This game was the reason I placed an order with GatheringGround.com. I loved to play Axis & Allies as a child/teen and having recently gotten into board gaming, really looked forward to trying out an improved version of my childhood favorite. I was so excited and could hardly wait for this game to arrive. I shopped around for prices and Gathering Ground had the best price I found.

Unfortunately, it never did arrive. After a month of waiting, and promising my roommates that any day now we would be able to experience WWII gaming goodness, the shipment arrived. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach when the box was way too light. When I opened the box, Axis & Allies wasn't there. The invoice listed it as being included in the order, with no notation about the item being out of stock. It appeared that I had been charged for it, but I later found out that they had refunded my money for this game on Halloween, a few days before the shipment arrived. There was nothing no other communication from them that the item was out of stock or that it wouldn't be in my order. I had talked with the customer service reps at Gathering Ground several times before my order shipped about why my order had been delayed due to out-of-stock items, but they never mentioned that Axis & Allies was out of stock. In fact, I was once told that they the rep had my order in his hands with had Axis & Allies and several other games, but they were waiting to ship it because some D&D miniatures that had been misplaced.
 
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2. Board Game: Pirates of the Spanish Main [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:3312] [Average Rating:6.02 Unranked]
Dan Alban
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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I just recently got into this game after picking up a few packs at a local gaming store. The game seems mediocre but my girlfriend and I have a fun time just putting together the little ships and saying ARRRRRR!

I ordered four booster packs of Pirates of the American Revolution. I was charged for them, but they were not included in my order. When I told this to Jason, the manager, he suggested that I was either mistaken or lying. He also suggested that the burden of proof was on me to demonstrate that it wasn't there since his shipping invoice (or whatever) showed that it had shipped. I'm not sure how I could prove the absence of an item, other than having a notary or other official witness my opening of each & every package I receive.

I am still waiting for them to refund my money for the missing boosters.
 
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3. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:2339]
Dan Alban
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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I've enjoyed playing D&D for years, but only recently got into the D&D miniatures game, both for collecting and playing purposes, and to supplement my miniatures for roleplaying. It's just so much easier to get into the feel of the game when the heros and bad guys are represented by full color miniatures than by pennies or Xs on graph paper.

A major part of my Gathering Ground order was a number of individual D&D miniatures to complete my collection in certain sets. I understand that it takes longer to find and pack individual miniatures than booster boxes, but other online game stores that I ordered individual minis from on the same day were able to get my orders to me 2-3 weeks before Gathering Ground.

The four main miniatures I ordered, in terms of cost and rarity, were out of stock, and were purportedly what held up my order for a month. They had misplaced the bin of Giants of Legend miniatures or something. I eventually told them to just stop waiting, ship everything they had and refund the money for the out-of-stock minis (not knowing that A&A was also out of stock). They said my order would go out that day - it actually shipped two days later, which was pretty good for them.

Also, I ordered and was charged for two Soldiers of Thrane miniatures from the Deathknell set, but received only one. This is an understandable error when dealing with a number of miniatures, and I wasn't too worked up about it. But when I told Jason it was missing along with the Pirates of the Revolution boosters, he suggested that I was either mistaken or lying.

I am still waiting for them to refund my money for the missing miniature; it isn't worth all that much, but it's the principle of the thing.
 
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4. Board Game: Mechwarrior: Dark Age [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:3708]
Dan Alban
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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I enjoyed playing Battletech back in the day with a guy I met at a gaming store in Northern Virginia. I didn't play all that much, or that seriously, but I had fun. When I saw the new Mechwarrior game, it seemed like something that I might be able to get my roommate or even my girlfriend to play with me, whereas they wouldn't go near the more complex rules of normal Battletech.

I originally ordered 7 booster packs of Mechwarrior products from Gathering Ground because they had such good prices. But after waiting so long for delivery, I gave up and decided I'd just buy them locally. I called a Gathering Ground rep to cancel the Mechwarrior figures from the order before the order shipped, which I was told would not be a problem.

But when I opened up the package, instead of an Axis & Allies game, I found seven shiny new boxes of Mechwarrior that I didn't want and had already replaced with local purchases. When I told Jason this, he told me they had no record that I had called to cancel my order for Mechwarrior miniatures, and that I must be mistaken. He refused to believe that maybe his company, which had made so many other mistakes in the order, had made an error.

I was charged for all of these items, despite the fact that I had cancelled my order for them. To add injury to insult, he refused to pay for return shipping on the items, saying that I should pay for it since I had supposedly decided I didn't want them anymore. Nevermind that I had made this decision before they had shipped and had let his company know that they should cancel that part of the order. He refuses to refund the money for the items until I ship them back, meaning I get screwed either way. Even my bank won't initiate the process to reverse the charges until I return the items, and they won't let me try to claim a credit for shipping costs (as the bank rep put it - all reputable online stores will pay for return shipping if it was their mistake), so I'm going to have to eat the shipping cost regardless. That's how I knew for sure that I was dealing with a business that cares nothing about customer service.
 
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5. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: Combat Hex Tradeable Miniatures Game [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:4915]
 
Dan Alban
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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Like many gamers, I'm a longtime fan of J.R.R. Tolkein's Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I loved the books, enjoyed the recent live action movies, and am hoping they'll make a similar live action movie of The Hobbit as well. I enjoy miniatures based wargaming, though have mostly played Games Workshop games such as Warhammer Fantasy and Mordheim. I bought the deluxe starter set of this game at a local game store and decided I wanted to build out my collection a little with some boosters.

The problem here was actually pretty minor, and I actually have to give some props to Gathering Ground for throwing in an extra booster pack to make up for the shipping delays. I had ordered two Fellowship of the Ring boosters, but they were out of stock. After a phone call with a rep, he substituted boosters from the main Lord of the Rings set. Since this phonecall was three weeks after I had placed my initial order, and I hadn't received it yet, he offered to throw in an extra booster for my troubles, which I accepted. If only the shipment had gone out that day, as promised, or had been reasonably correct, or Gathering Ground had been helpful and cooperative about fixing the problems after the shipment arrived, I wouldn't have reason to complain or create this geeklist.

But alas, as you have seen, there were so many more problems that a free booster just couldn't make up for it all, especially since I am having to pay out of my own pocket for the return shipping on the Mechwarrior boosters that were mistakenly delivered.
 
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